21 December 2020
Chief Minister John le Fondré said:
“As a precautionary measure, and based on scientific advice, we will be classifying all UK arrivals as red.
“This will come into effect from midnight tonight and will include anyone going to the UK for a day trip. This will be in place for at least a week.
“We will not be hard-closing our border due to our ongoing need to send patients to the UK and to allow residents home to Jersey.
“Patient treatment will continue, and Islanders won’t be left stranded in the UK, but everyone arriving will need to be tested three times and stay in isolation until their day 10 negative.”
Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat said:
“There is strong evidence to support that the new variant the UK does not affect the severity of symptoms or responsiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“New mutations and strains of COVID-19 develop continually which is normal for these types of viruses. It is thought that at least 9 strains are currently active in the UK.
“However, the NHS England Chief Medical Officer has estimated a 70% increase in transmission as a result of this mutation with a 0.4 increase in the R rate which we need to respond to.
“We are working with the UK to establish whether Jersey has this new strain.’
The commonest remains 20A.EU2 and it is increasing in frequency
However, it is a spike mutation N501Yof the new strain VUI 202012/01, that is of current concern
Prevalence of the new mutation has risen sharply in the English regions of London (62%), the South East (42%) and the East of England (59%). It is not yet the dominant strain across the UK as a whole but may become so.
Jersey is sending samples to PHE for testing and will make available the results of prevalence once they are known.